ESRI Developer Summit Impressions

Fri, Mar 27, 2009 2-minute read

I am returning to Charlotte in the morning after a nerd-vigorating week in Palm Springs at the ESRI Developers Summit.  If you didn’t get a chance to go, don’t fret as ESRI is posting all of the sessions and code from the week.  Overall, I’ll have to say that this was a great event and the best developers summit yet.   Seeing all of our GIS nerd peers from around the world is often interesting and always informative.

The plenary session highlighted much of what is coming in 9.3.1 and 9.4, not the least of which was ArcExplorer 900.  It’s been Office 2007-ized (ribbon, etc) and is a world away from the previous versions of AGX.  The coolest feature is a Presentation Mode that allows you to create “slides” that include maps and graphics and other things that will likely make it my presentation tool of choice.  It starts an open beta (I think) on April 6th, so get in on it and see what I am talking about.

The ArcGIS Online sharing options that are coming in 9.3.1 are interesting as well.  Fueled by the introduction of “layer packages” which allow you to package data and symbology together.  This data can be uploaded to ArcGIS Online and shared with your friends or the whole planet.  Picture clicking on a hyperlink and having ArcMap open and data being added to the map document.  It was pretty sassy.    ArcGIS Online also has a ton more basemaps, with Virtual Earth basemaps on the way.

Other tidbits:

New this year at the summit they added user presentaions, and I attended quite a few:

Anotehr new item this year was the presence of Twitter.  The #devsummit hashtag was tweet-heavy and, for the first time, Twitter became a very, very useful part of my conference life.  This is where the idea of Twitter really shines and I can finally say that I get it.

So, head on over the the ESRI Developer Summit site, start watching presentations, and downloading code.  Oh, and get on the Twittersphere if you aren’t (I am @ruprictGeek, if you wanna follow….)